Prince of Peace
“And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Prince of Peace.”
When I was walking through the dark valley of breast cancer I remember hearing a Rich Mullins song that spoke of Jesus as the prince of peace. I don’t remember the title what I do remember was one line of the lyrics that struck a chord with my frightened soul, “Hold me Jesus I’m shaking like a leaf. You have been my King of Glory, now won’t you be my prince of peace?” Many times since breast cancer I have thought of those words. In the chaos of this life, sometimes we long for Jesus to be our Prince of Peace. The prophet Isaiah promised just that, writing that one of the titles given to Jesus would be the Prince of Peace.
Most dictionaries would define peace as “cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.” Yet, when I look at Jesus’ earthly ministry there was plenty of dissension and strife concerning Him. Soon after He was born Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt to keep Him safe. (Matthew 2:13-15) During His adult life, many felt divided over who He claimed to be and the miracles He performed. (Matthew 9:3, 10-11, 34) It doesn’t seem as though Jesus enjoyed an absence of conflict or freedom from trials. So, how is it that Isaiah calls Jesus the Prince of Peace? Let’s start by taking a closer look at that word peace.
Jesus – Prince of Peace
The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom and it means much more than simply the absence of conflict. The idea behind the meaning of Shalom goes beyond the absence of conflict or the state of inner calm to include, wholeness, completeness, and well being. As the Prince of Peace Jesus did not come to abolish conflict He came to restore our relationship with the Father. (Matthew 10:34) He came to bring a sense of wholeness and completeness that is only possible through a relationship with God. This is why in Luke 8:48, after healing the women who had been bleeding for twelve years, Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Jesus wasn’t saying, go and live free from conflict because I’ve healed you. He was saying, I’ve healed and forgiven you, go in your new found sense of wholeness.
Jesus never promised us a life free from conflict or strife. What He did promise was His presence in our conflicts and a restored relationship with God the Father which would lead us to a sense of wholeness. The peace we long for comes only from Jesus Christ. He is our source of well being and wholeness.
Read through the following verses and answer the questions:
John 14:27. In what tangible ways has Christ left us with His peace? Describe How you have experienced His peace in your life.
John 16:33. Jesus never promised us a life free from conflicts or trials. Instead He promised we would have troubles. But, He promised to give us peace in spite of our troubles. How is this possible? When life’s problems feel horrific how do you experience Jesus as the Prince of Peace?
Romans 5:1. In what way did Jesus accomplish peace for us with God? If this is available to all why do you think so few people experience peace in their relationship with God?
Ephesians 2:14. How is Christ Himself the source of our peace with God? What wall has He broken down?
Philippians 4:4-7. According to these verses what are some of the conditions of feeling free from anxiety? The next time you find yourself struggling with anxiety what might you do to experience His peace instead?
Colossians 3:15. In this verse Paul instructs us to allow the peace of Christ to rule our minds. What tangible steps can you take to not hinder peace from ruling your mind and heart?
For Group Discussion
Please leave a comment answering any or all of the following questions:
- In what areas of life have you struggled with anxiety?
- What has been most helpful to you in your journey to experience Jesus as your Prince of Peace?
- How have you personally experienced the peace of Christ in recent days?
- Share your favorite insight from this week’s lesson.